The C-store Visit: Experience First, Product Second.

Large retail brands outside the c-store industry are placing an increasing emphasis on selling an experience first and a commoditized product second as a strategy to create brand loyalty and drive repeat customers. This concept, known as the “Experience Economy” was coined by Joseph Pine, a renowned marketing author, speaker and consultant, and was recently discussed on NPR’s Ted Hour, “What Consumers Want.”

Product Manager, Media

During the show, Pine talks about how brands such as Starbucks invest a lot in creating a specific experience for their consumers, in essence, making the experience of going to a Starbucks both memorable and authentic. How do they create such an experience? They create the Starbucks experience by the store layout to the earthy green and brown store colors to how the baristas talk about the coffee beans. One of Pine’s main points is that it is the more the experience that brings customers back, not always the coffee. Continue reading

EMV Made Easy – How the Consumer Experience Will Change

We are now less than 10 months away from the October 1st liability shift deadline for US retailers to adopt EMV technology at their indoor point-of-sale systems, and for card issuers to issue chip cards to their customers.  Current projections indicate that 70% of credit cards and 41% of debit cards will be EMV enabled by the end of 2015, and that over 50% of payment terminals will be EMV capable.  Despite these signs of progress in bringing EMV to the US, many average consumers, and even many retailers in our industry are either unaware of EMV in general, or don’t fully understand what it means for them.  Continue reading

Play at the Pump Comes to CA: Would you play?

Jason Bertinetti, Marketing Manager

Last week California joined Minnesota and Missouri to become the third state to go live with Play at the Pump.  This new product provides an opportunity for retailers to expand their lottery sales by targeting an untouched segment of consumers who normally do not play lottery due to the inconvenience of entering the store.  Play at the Pump introduces an element of technology to Lottery as quick pick numbers are stored on the consumer’s purchase card as opposed to a paper ticket.  Winnings below a $600 threshold are automatically deposited back to the consumers account while winnings in excess of $600 trigger a text message notification to the player to claim winnings at their local lottery office.  Continue reading

Fraud at the Pump. How EMV Can Eliminate “Pump and Dump” Schemes

Luke Grant

North American Payment Product Manager

There are many ways that thieves can turn stolen credit cards and cardholder data into cash.  Mostly commonly they purchase items that can easily be easily exchanged for cash or used as cash once the stolen account is flagged.  Recently a new scheme came to light in Lilburn, GA that hits home for petroleum retailers.

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Is the Customer Always Right? Social Media’s Response to Apple Pay vs MCX

In my earlier discussion on Apple Pay and the technology market reaction, Apple Pay: Does a Rising Tide Lift All Boats?, I alluded to the idea that if mobile payments doesn’t succeed, it will be because consumers never had the chance to decide. Well, not only is the technology press talking about the issue now, the mainstream media, and consumers are setting social media on fire. Continue reading